Paperback, Personal Copy
(As a reviewer from England...I might have slightly different spelling for some words. Watch out for the extra u :)
Book summary from Orchard
Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses – but it’s really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl.
Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can Cammie have a normal relationship with a boy who can never know the truth about her?
A school for spies! Sure, I've read a few books that are spy/espionage related, but they were firmly based in the children's section. A friend of mine, who is both a reader and a writer, felt I'd adore these. She was right. I do adore them. I'm eagerly awaiting the next one to land on the doormat. I'm eyeing up Heist, first in another series by Ally Carter. They'll all be reviewed here, I promise.
Cammie has a voice which I liked from the first sentence. Written from first person point of view, her report on events at the Gallagher Academy had me in stitches. It isn't all fun and games. It's not easy for Cammie having her mother as the headmistress. It makes her stick out a bit. Or it should.
Somehow, Cammie is known for blending into the background. She doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. She doesn't have a sign saying 'headmistress's daughter'. Blending into the background is a great skill for a spy. She's even called The Chamelon because of this skill. So why she stands out to a normal boy on a spy mission is quite a mystery.
Cammie is used to being a spy. She's used to speaking different languages at meal times. She understands what to do in a code red situation at the school (which isn't what you may think it is either! It's a highly cool scene in the book, which has me wanting to enroll in the fictional academy). She doesn't understand what it is to act normal. It's something she has to learn.
Thankfully her friends have a vague idea of what normal is (some of the time - it doesn't include breaking into a house to find out whether the boy in question is suitable for Cammie). More importantly, two new additions to the school make Cammie's personal mission in this book both easier and difficult.
Full of humour, there is a lot of suspense for Cammie in the first book of this series. I had thought the suspense would come from having to diffuse bombs or foil a villain, but I've been shown that suspense can be over more mundane things. Not that you can call spy girls 'normal'. Or life as mundane. Even something simple, such as the material homework is printed on, has a twist for Cammie and the other girls.
Emotion played a large part in this book for me. I was attached to Cammie, not just because she's funny, but because she explores upsetting issues. Some she experiences for herself. Others, she comes into contact with because of her friends. It is how she deals with them that had me reaching for the tissues. Many tissue moments here - not all through sadness. Some are so funny that I nearly cried from laughing.
Content: sweet and tame violence (nothing graphic). Lots of humour.